The Darjeeling Limited Review
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There are a few things that I can definitely understand about director Wes Andersonís latest film, The Darjeeling Limited.

First of all, I can understand that traveling with your family isnít easy. In Darjeeling, three brothers meet for whatís supposed to be a spiritually enlightening, brotherly bonding kind of journey by train through India. The threeóFrancis (Owen Wilson), Jack (Jason Schwartzman), and Peter (Adrien Brody)óhavenít spoken in a year, since their fatherís funeral. So Francis decides that itís time for them to become brothers again. Francis has the whole thing planned, plotted into minute-by-minute itineraries, which are to be presented to them daily by his personal assistant, Brendan (Wallace Wolodarsky).

From the beginning, the journey isnít what itís supposed to be. Francis is a control freak. Theyíre all keeping secretsóbecause they donít trust each other. And theyíre constantly self-medicating with various Indian cough syrups and pain medications. Things continue to get worse until a deadly snake and some pepper spray get them thrown off their train and stranded in the desert with approximately two tons of luggage, a printer, and a laminating machine.

And I can understand all that. In fact, as I was making my way to the theater, I recalled a particularly nightmarish family journey, which featured just as much bickering as Darjeeling, only without the Indian medications to dull the pain.

I can also understand how difficult it is to travel when youíre carrying all that baggage. Iíve been thereóand I almost got stranded in a train station in the Netherlands because of it.

At the same time, though, there are plenty of things that I donít understand about The Darjeeling Limitedóbut thatís just the way Anderson works. His unconventional and often awkward films donít usually tell traditional stories that have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Theyíre not always comfortable. They might have a pointóor they might not. And Darjeeling is no different. It tells a simple story about three brothers on a very strange road trip. We donít really know all that much about the three characters outside the story. We know that Francis is richóand that he had a brush with death before planning the trip. We know that Jack is trying to get over a failed relationship. And we know that Peter is about to become a fatheróand that heís still clinging to his own fatherís possessions. The characters arenít fully developed, but youíll be fascinated by their interactions anywayómostly because of the three actors who portray them. They work well togetheróand theyíre just fun to watch.

As for their story, itís mostly a lot of talk. It wanders around for a while, not really heading anywhere in particular. At times, itís funny. At others, itís insightful. And sometimes, itís just plain strange (more so in the filmís second half). But through it all, itís beautiful. The settings are stunning. Theyíre colorful and noisy and captivating.

Donít go into The Darjeeling Limited expecting to understand every minute of it. If that frustrates you, it might be best not to try at all. Andersonís movies arenít conventionalóand theyíre not for everyone. But even though you wonít understand it all in the endóyouíll definitely feel like youíve been on a fascinating journey.

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